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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

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Management & Restoration of Natural Landscapes


The Northern Research Station has realigned our staff from 37 Research Work Units and Programs into 14 new Research Work Units.

RWU-4902 is now part of NRS-9, People and Their Environments: Social Science Supporting Natural Resource Management and Policy.

[Photo:] Aerial view of Eagan, Minnesota suburban neighborhood surrounded by lakes and forestland.No matter how big or dense a city gets, nature is always part of it – and is important to the quality of life of the people who live, work and spend their leisure time there. At the same time, these natural areas include unique, rare and endangered native species and ecosystems that are under increasing stress from changes caused by pollution, urban development, and invasive plants and animals.

Sometimes natural areas become so degraded that they need to be restored or rehabilitated. At first glance, restoring a natural area may seem straightforward, at least from a purely ecological point of view: If exotic species have overtaken native plants, remove them. However, the people who live near or use natural areas may have very different ideas about the goals for a project than resource managers. Some stakeholders may think invasive plants are attractive and belong. Thus restoring landscapes in urban areas with people in mind adds another dimension to the process.

Our scientists are working with a broad range of public and private interests to help understand and guide the restoration of natural areas and apply the findings nationally.

Urban parks & natural areas - Even if they can vacation in distant wilderness areas, urban people benefit greatly from having green space close to home – whether it’s a corner park, community garden or nature center. Many of these natural areas are highly valued and used, especially in dense urban centers.  ...more>

Brownfield rehabilitation - Whether the results of illegal dumping or former industrial uses, environmentally contaminated sites are part of the mosaic of most urban environments. Rehabilitation of these sites (can link with the Lake Calumet news write-up) comes with a host of social issues.  ...more>>

Recreation planning - Whether planning for a national forest or a neighborhood tot lot, providing for the wide-ranging recreational needs of people is complex. Site users come from different age groups, different racial and ethnic groups, and represent varied income levels. ...more>>

Public involvement - Developing effective policies for using and managing landscapes requires meaningful dialogue between diverse individuals and groups. So does creating effective designs and plans for parks and natural areas. ...more>>  

Social aspects of urban greening - Urban greening is a powerful tool for improving the quality of urban life. People gain from urban greening both as individuals and communities.  ...more>>



Last Modified: 12/21/2007